Filmmakers Remember Roger Ebert: Tributes from Spielberg, Scorsese, Herzog and More

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 5 2013 12:04 AM

Filmmakers Remember Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert in 2003
Roger Ebert in 2003

Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In a testament to the level of esteem in which Roger Ebert was held in the filmmaking community, screenwriters and directors immediately took to Twitter, print, and radio to remember the critic on Thursday.

We’ve collected tributes from Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Spike Lee, and many, many more.

Forrest Wickman Forrest Wickman

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

Steven Spielberg:

Roger loved movies. They were his life. His reviews went far deeper than simply thumbs up or thumbs down. He wrote with passion through a real knowledge of film and film history, and in doing so, helped many movies find their audiences. Along with Gene Shalit, Joel Siegel, and of course Gene Siskel, Roger put television criticism on the map. Roger’s passing is virtually the end of an era and now the balcony is closed forever.
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Christopher Nolan:

“Roger really to me has been emblematic of a wonderful everyman approach to criticism,” said Mr. Nolan. “He never became jaded… even while bringing a very thoughtful critical eye.” [Read more from Nolan at the Wall Street Journal.]

Martin Scorsese:

The death of Roger Ebert is an incalculable loss for movie culture and for film criticism. And it’s a loss for me personally. Roger was always supportive, he was always right there for me when I needed it most, when it really counted – at the very beginning, when every word of encouragement was precious; and then again, when I was at the lowest ebb of my career, there he was, just as encouraging, just as warmly supportive. There was a professional distance between us, but then I could talk to him much more freely than I could to other critics. Really, Roger was my friend. It’s that simple.
Few people I’ve known in my life loved or cared as much about movies. I know that’s what kept him going in those last years – his life-or-death passion for movies, and his wonderful wife, Chaz.

We all knew that this moment was coming, but that doesn’t make the loss any less wrenching. I’ll miss him — my dear friend, Roger Ebert.

Ebert’s friend, Werner Herzog: